Fragmental Presentism and Quantum Mechanics


This paper develops a Fragmentalist theory of Presentism and shows how it can help to develop a interpretation of quantum mechanics. There are several fragmental interpretations of physics. In the interpretation of this paper, each quantum system forms a fragment, and fragment f1 makes a measurement on fragment f2 if and only if f2 makes a corresponding measurement on f1. The main idea is then that each fragment has its own present (or ‘now’) until a mutual quantum measurement—at which time they come (‘become’) to share the same ‘now’. The theory of time developed here will make use of both McTaggart’s A-series (in the form of future-present-past) and B-series (earlier-times to later-times). An example of an application is that a Bell pair of electrons does not take on definite spin values until measurement because the measuring system and the Bell pair do not share the same present (‘now’) until mutual quantum measurement, i.e. until they ‘become’ to share the same A-series. Before that point the ‘now’ of the opposing system is not in the reference system’s fragment. Relativistic no-signaling is preserved within each fragment, which will turn out to be sufficient for the general case. Several issues in the foundations of quantum mechanics are canvassed, including Schrodinger’s cat, the Born rule, modifications to Minkowski space that accommodate both the A-series and the B-series, and entropy.

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